Rev. Trevor Johnston & Pastor Dale E. Locke
Week 4: Wide Awake!
- Review our memory verse for this series: Ephesians 3:20-21 – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
- Talk about what “glory” means to you, and why is it used in this passage of scripture.
- Read part of the story of Lazarus’ death in John 11:1-16 – Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” “But Rabbi,” they said, “a sort while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks int he daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” After he had said this, e went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him up.” His disciples replied “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples though he meant natural sleep. So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Then Thomas (also known as Didymas) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us go, that we may die with him.”
- What kinds of things do you notice about this story?
- Does it seem odd to you that Jesus chose to wait two days before heading back to Bethany to see his friends Lazarus, Mary and Martha? Why or why not?
- Why didn’t his disciples want to go back?
- Jesus explains to his disciples that Lazarus had indeed died, and for their sake he was actually glad he was not there, so that they may believe. What do you think he meant by that?
- When Jesus and his disciples arrive in Bethany, they are met by Lazarus’ sister Martha. Read John 11: 21 –“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died…” Have you ever been in a difficult situation where you wondered “Jesus, where are you?” Share about it, if you are willing.
- John Ortberg, in his book Faith and Doubt, lists 3 reasons people may lose their faith. One reason he lists is lack of evidence. Another is the hypocracy of some believers, and the third is the problem of pain (“Lord, where were you??”) Share your thoughts on these reasons John Ortberg gives regarding why someone might lose faith.
- Continuing in the story of Lazarus’ death, Jesus is met with Mary, who also confronts him. Read John 11:32-35 – “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him? he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept.
- What do you think caused Jesus to weep? Talk about why this is so important to know about Jesus?
- Have you ever found comfort knowing Jesus has deep compassion on his followers?
- Trevor said “Miracles are an in-breaking of the coming Kingdom. Tragedy and loss is an up-rising of the kingdom of the world that knows it’s defeated.” What does he mean by this?
- Compare the resurrection of Lazarus with the resurrection of Jesus. What is alike and what is different about them?
- Read John 11: 25-26 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. the one who believes in me will live, even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Who is Jesus promising eternal life to?